Annual Meeting

Join the conversation on how cells talk to themselves and to each other

A 2022 annual meeting session on membranes and lipids
Tamas Balla Lois Weisman
By Tamas Balla and Lois Weisman
Oct. 6, 2021

Cellular membranes are key to the compartmentalization of cellular processes and serve as platforms for the assembly of protein signaling complexes. Most human diseases can be traced to defects in signal generation and decoding caused by altered interaction of proteins with cellular membranes.

The unique lipid composition of different membranes defines organelle identity and is critical for protein–membrane interactions. How cells generate and maintain the specific lipid composition of their organelles against complex and highly dynamic vesicular transport pathways is a fundamental question at the intersection of lipid and cell biology. Moreover, nonvesicular lipid transfer and contact sites formed between various organelles, as well as transient spikes in signaling lipids, are critical for cell signaling and homeostasis.

The theme of this session is how to respond to these important questions, and the program features expert speakers covering a variety of exciting topics within this theme.

Keywords: lipid transfer proteins, membrane contact sites, lipid compartmentalization, lipid dynamics, cell signaling

Who should attend: both experts and novices who recognize that not all lipids are bad for your health — and also people who are interested in proteins, as we understand that membranes without proteins and proteins without membranes would not support life

Theme song: "Come Together" by the Beatles, the first allusion to the importance of organelle contact sites

This session is powered by Palmolive — chasing lipids since 1898.


  • Regulation of PIP2 homeostasis at ER–plasma membrane contacts by Nir proteins — Jen Liou, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Roles for interorganelle contacts in organizing metabolism — W. Mike Henne, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Systematic analysis of membrane contact sites — Maya Schuldiner, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Novel pathways of intracellular membrane lipid transport and neurodegenerative diseases — Pietro De Camilli, Yale University School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Chemical tools for understanding phospholipase D signaling — Jeremy Baskin, Cornell University
  • Control of the cellular lipid landscape by inositol lipids — Tamas Balla, National Institutes of Health
  • Volume electron microscopy analysis reveals a new type of membrane junction required for mixing of parental genomes after fertilization — Orna Cohen–Fix, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
  • Automatic whole cell organelle segmentation in volumetric electron microscopy — Aubrey Weigel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus
  • Regulation of membrane dynamics via phosphoinositide signaling cascades — Lois Weisman, University of Michigan
  • Novel mechanisms in phosphoinositide turnover — Raghu Padinjat, National Centre for Biological Sciences
  • Regulation of COPII dynamics in development and disease — Anjon Audhya, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Intracellular trafficking during neutrophil chemotaxis — Carole Parent, University of Michigan

Learn more

Check out all ten thematic symposia planned for the 2022 ASBMB annual meeting:

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Tamas Balla
Tamas Balla

Tamas Balla is a senior investigator in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, leading the Section on Molecular Signal Transduction.

Lois Weisman
Lois Weisman

Lois Weisman is a member of the Life Sciences Institute and professor in the cell and developmental biology department at the University of Michigan whose research is focused on phosphoinositide lipid signaling and organelle inheritance.

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